While plenty of gamers out there are looking forward to the release of the Oculus Rift as a way to fundamentally redefine gaming as we know it, there's a truth lurking under the surface that some aren't quite so willing to understand. Some, however, understand it all too well, and one of those people is Brendan Iribe, the CEO of Oculus VR
, the company behind the Oculus Rift.
Iribe served as the main speaker at the GamesBeat 2013 opening events, and in his remarks, he showed that both he, and by extension the company, understood that no matter how amazing the Oculus Rift was, without the games to back it up, it wouldn't be much good at all. Indeed, as Iribe described it in his remarks “...we need made-for-VR content.” Indeed, as Iribe described, while there would be plenty of ported content on hand, and plenty of titles to make the jump to a virtual reality system, there would still be lots of room for—and a genuine need for—titles that specifically take advantage of the VR format.
Iribe followed up this telling point by noting that there are some games specifically geared toward the mobile platform, and this is just what would need to be done for the Oculus Rift as well. He showed some game footage for a couple titles working in that direction, like “Eve: Valkyrie
,” a game with a clearly starfighter bent. Iribe then went beyond gaming altogether, suggesting that filmmaking could be adjusted for the Rift, and encouraged audiences to consider what “Gravity” would have been like had it been done with the Rift—and VR in general—in mind.
The implications of this aside, he's exactly right. This has been the case with pretty much every console released, and we're even seeing it right now. One of the biggest problems that Nintendo's been having in regard to the Wii U are the overall lack of games for the system. While we've heard plenty of talk about the delays in releasing, not to mention plenty of apologies for the lack, the numbers aren't showing up by much, if at all. Just looking at the release line up through March 14 of 2014 out at gamefaqs.com is stomach-churningly sad. There's just not much there, not nothing much great, but nothing much period. By way of comparison, there are more titles coming out for the Xbox One
in that same time frame, looking at the lineup, and the Xbox One can't even be purchased yet. The Wii U has been out over a year, and it's not producing more releases than a system that isn't even available yet?
But getting back to the main point. It's games that sell hardware, plain and simple. While hardware makes games happen, hardware without games is nothing more than an expensive paperweight. It's entirely possible that game designers, and even movie makers, are considering the concept of virtual reality as a serious platform for the near term future. With so many gamers eagerly looking to the Oculus Rift, meanwhile, it's a safe bet indeed that someone's smelling a market afoot. But it's going to be, ultimately, the games that make the system worth buying.